How to make an old-school whirligig fidget toy

Fidget toys are all the rage. Try making your own version of the old-timey classic with this easy DIY whirligig.

We know fidget spinners are all the rage right now, but we've actually been playing with fidget toys for generations! Show your kids an old-school way to have fun with a classic whirligig. The best part: hours of fun, (annoying) sound free! Hello summer road trips.

Difficulty: The craft is easy, while the spinning is tricky but fun to learn Age range: 4+ with some grown-up help Safety first: Kids will need help poking holes and using scissors (safety scissors aren't quite strong enough) The takeaway: The cardboard surface is a great blank canvas for creative designs. As it spins, the colours seem to disappear in a very cool optical illusion.

craft supplies for fidget toy craft

You'll need: 3 pieces white card stock (you can use coloured card stock, too) scissors pencil awl (or something sharp to poke holes) markers (washable are totally fine) small bowl to trace twine or string glue stick

using a bowl to trace a circle on white paper

Step 1 Trace one circle on card stock (we used a small, 4-in bowl) and roughly cut it out around (not on) your traced line.

How to make an old-school whirligig fidget toy

Step 2 Glue your circle to another piece of card stock. Flip it over and glue a third piece of card stock to the second piece. Flip it over again and cut carefully along the traced line on your circle. Now it's thick and sturdy and ready to go.

using markers to draw a design on whirligig

Step 3 Draw any design on the face of your whirligig spinner. Try a different design on the back. And don't be afraid to use lots of colours.

poking holes in whirligig


Step 4 Using your awl, poke two holes in the centre of the circle, roughly spaced 1.5 in apart.

adding string to whirligig

Step 5 Thread a 24-in piece of twine through the holes. If the twine feels too long you can trim it. Then tie the ends to create a loop.

girl playing with fidget toy

Step 6 Now for the fun part. Twirl the string in your hands winding it up and then gently tugging on either end to make it spin. It takes practice to get a good spin and keep it from going lopsided. When you get it going, watch how the colours blend and change patterns. This is the perfect antidote to summer boredom and fidgety fingers!


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